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Co-op launches ‘pay in aisle’ mobile app technology

The Co-op has launched a new mobile app that allows customers to pay for their groceries in the aisle and avoid going to the till altogether.

The ‘shop, scan and go’ initiative is being trialled at a Co-op’s store in the group’s support centre in Manchester, with a wider roll-out beginning as early as this summer. An additional trial at the Co-op’s store located in the HQ of Microsoft in Reading is also underway.

The grocery retailer said that the app, which has been built with Mastercard’s secure digital payments expertise, allows customers to scan products on their own device as they walk around the store – known as a “frictionless shopping experience”.

When customers have then finished shopping, the amount they owe will be deducted from their account with a single click.

The number of cash transactions in its stores rapidly reduce in favour of alternative payment methods. Cash transactions have dropped by more than one fifth over the last five years, with a 15% reduction in the last 18 months alone.

The technology will also link with customers’ Co-op membership accounts, meaning they will receive information such as how much they have saved and how much of their expenditure will be donated to local causes.

Matthew Speight, director of retail support, said: “We recognise there are many communities where customers pop in to their local Co-op and enjoy a friendly chat – it is all part of the service. Whereas for others, perhaps with a train to catch or on a school run, every second can count as consumers seek increased convenience.”

Amazon recently opened its first cashier-less store in Seattle with plans to open six more in the coming months. Sainsbury’s is also said to be in the process of trialling a technology that allows customers to pay for items on their phone, while Tesco has the Pay+ mobile wallet payment app.

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